Thursday Trek ~ Weird Tourist Traps
Have you made any sidetracks on a trip that involved investigating something weird? I have. In researching this post, I have created even more of a bucket list for myself.
Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, Texas
On a road trip to Colorado from south Texas, there was a must-stop at Cadillac Ranch. Built by an eccentric man in 1974 on Historic Route 66, running parallel to Interstate 40, Cadillac Ranch is a weird stop. Pass through the fence onto the property and be observant of which direction the wind is blowing. Inevitably, someone will be adding their spray paint art to the sculptures. Take pictures. The moment you are there is the only time it will look that way. The cars have been painted over thousands of times.
Not to be outdone by Cadillacs, there is also Airstream Ranch in Florida, assorted vehicles adorn Carhenge in Nebraska, and there’s even a Gorilla holding a VW Bug in Vermont.
London Bridge, Lake Havasu, Arizona (photo credit golakehavasu.com)
I had never heard of London Bridge in Arizona. The original London Bridge was wood. It was replaced by a bridge that needed repair numerous times in its 600 -year lifespan. But, London Bridge was falling down. So it was replaced in 1831. This newer bridge was not built to handle the motor traffic of the times and the east side of it began to sink. In 1967, the call went out for buyers. Lake Havasu City founder and entrepreneur Robert P. McCulloch purchased the bridge, had is disassembled, shipped overseas, reassembled (with fortification), and dedicated in 1971.
Lucy the Elephant
Lucy the Elephant in Margate, New Jersey has quite a hold on the weird places to visit hall of fame. Yes, I’m from New Jersey, and no, I’ve never seen her. Listed as a National Historic Landmark, it dates back to 1881 and was noted by passing ships when the horizon scans were called in. “Elephant on the horizon!” The original architect had three elephants built, one in Cape May, New Jersey and one in Coney Island, New York, but Lucy is the only one to remain standing today. Six stories tall, one enters the interior by a spiral staircase in the rear legs. One leg is for entering, and one to exit. It houses many rooms, a great hall, and even bathrooms. Lucy has withstood hurricanes, fires, threat of demolition, and being moved to a new location within the city of Margate, New Jersey. When you’ve lost all your money in Atlantic City, take the fifteen-minute drive south and take the tour of Lucy the Elephant.
Salem Witch House (photo credit salemweb.com)
Family research shows my ancestors landed in Salem, Mass in 1587. The Witch House should have been on my list when I visited Salem many years ago. The Peabody Museum has a massive amount of information. There was nothing like the feeling of putting my hands on a land change document of one of my ancestors. The Witch House is the only structure still standing from the time period of the Salem Witch Trials in the late 1600’s. Only two generations after my family landed, I’ve always wondered if they took part in this horrid piece of American history. The house was owned by Judge Jonathan Corwin, the local magistrate and civic leader responsible for the investigations into the claims of witchcraft that ultimately sent nineteen individuals to the noose. Today, the tours at the Witch House delve into the period lifestyle and architecture, along with the tales of trials.
I’m curious. Outside of the South of the Border, the World’s Largest Ball of Twine, the World’s Largest Santa, Roswell, New Mexico, and the Largest Pistachio, what weird things have you seen on your trips that others should also experience? Please share in the comments. Inquiring minds want to know.
Thanks for reading!